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The City Council approved a motion to move the runoff date for primary elections from May 26 to July 14.

The council will send the request to Gov. Greg Abbott for approval. If the governor rejects the request, the election will be moved to Nov. 3 by default.

Although moving the date to May 2 was originally on the table, Mayor Martin Heines did not believe it was a wise option to take due to concerns for the health of the election-day volunteers.

“Election workers stated concerns for their age and conditions in relation to this and being able to work. Those that typically work this election don’t want to be in contact with the general public at this time,” said Heines.

Additionally, in light of expenses going out to diffuse the coronavirus pandemic, Heines did not want to add more expenses through running an election in May.

“It is not a small cost,” said Heines. “It is also a cost paid by local tax payers, and we are already working so hard on the emergency situation we are facing right now,” said Heines.

After discussing the impact of selecting the date, the council unanimously agreed upon the July 14 date.

Additional topics covered in the meeting include planning and zoning proposals that are a part of the Tyler 1st initiative.

The plans brought forth today included plans for north-end revitalization, conservation of the historic brick streets, and an action plan to obtain grants for pedestrian and bicycle networks as well as park and ride options.

The 20-year plan is reevaluated every five years to continue adapting to community changes through conducting surveys and encouraging public engagement through open houses and online forums.

Mayor Heines closed the meeting by expressing his satisfaction with the level of coordination that has taken place between the city, county, medical and educational institutions and law enforcement in an effort to confront the coronavirus state of emergency.

“An amazing amount of behind the scenes work is taking place with all entities, there is a level of coordination and preparedness unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in this community,” said Heines.

Many organizations, institutions, medical officials and city and county leadership have been coming together daily to discuss plans in the emergency operating center (EOC).

Through that collaboration, Heines says they have developed a very organized plan and a public service announcement will be coming soon to clarify a plan of action to the community.

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